like to think of myself as a planner. Since becoming a mother, some of those planner skills have vanished. But in my mind, my life is still organized, despite the mess it is in reality.
When you have a young child, they don’t understand the concept of the time change. (Do any of us really?) When my son was younger, I would try to prep him by moving forward (or back) his bedtime the week before the time change. There was one fall, I got completely confused and instead of moving his bedtime back (as I should have,) I moved it forward. So on Sunday morning, he was 2 hours ahead instead of the typical 1 hour. After that, I gave up and just dealt with whatever mess we woke up to on Sunday morning. (Or I sent him to the grandparents’ house and let them deal with it!)
But Daylight Saving Time is coming – this weekend! So let’s make the most of it. Here are some recommendations to reduce those fatigue effects from the experts at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center:
- Plan for it. “Try to go to bed earlier – maybe 15 minutes earlier each day in the week prior to the time change. Then when it comes to the weekend, your internal clock is already shifted to an earlier sleep and wake-up time.”
- Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. “The sun is a very potent synchronizer.”
And I’m a big fan of sleep all the time, so I’ll throw in these extra recommendations for year-round good sleep.
- Establish a relaxing pre-sleep ritual, like taking a bath, reading, or listening to calm music.
- Make sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, and a comfortable temperature.
- Avoid bright lights and stimulation or TVs, computers, and other electronics before bed.
- Avoid large meals and caffeine before bed.
- Exercise earlier in the day, not right before bed.
- Keep the same bedtime and wake time each day, even on weekends.
Some of those are easier said than done. Here’s hoping we catch at least a few zzz’s this weekend and to saving some daylight!